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Can the universe be represented by info?

zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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5/26/2016 4:45:20 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
Discuss.
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"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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5/26/2016 4:48:00 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 4:45:20 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Discuss.

I am coming to the conclusion that it can't per se, unless the information is given rules to function by which requires some sort of intelligence. This is also convincing me of the fundementality of intelligence and intentionality, which seems impossible in purely physical terms.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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5/26/2016 6:51:50 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 4:48:00 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 5/26/2016 4:45:20 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Discuss.

I am coming to the conclusion that it can't per se, unless the information is given rules to function by which requires some sort of intelligence. This is also convincing me of the fundementality of intelligence and intentionality, which seems impossible in purely physical terms.

I think there is a common metaphysical mistake which sees this in terms of a thing called the universe, which exists alongside another thing called its representation. A lot of these kinds of confusion seem to come from viewing reality as an object within reality, which I then access. Let's say I'm seeing a cup. It makes sense to say I see the cup, and we can ask questions about "reality" insofar as we frame and ask questions about that event of seeing. But, as John Searle says, we can't "see the seeing" - that is a category mistake. We don't access our own access to objects.

Also, whenever we make the jump from "non-representational" experiences such as pure sensation (if we believe those exist), to representational data such as propositions, there is always some degree of speculation involved. If I say "I see a cup," then I am speculating about the fact that it's a cup - it might be something which only looks like a cup. You might think we can start shaving away at the statement and get to something immanent; "I see something that looks like a cup" and so on. I can get into that if you want but in short I think this is an endless task, there is always some speculative residue involved in the statement, and a completely non-speculative statement would be totally empty, at least in my view. Husserl's is possibly the most rigorous attempt at presuppositionlessness, in this regard, but he still spent his entire career trying to find even a beginning point.

This is where I'd see your observations about rules and intentionality coming in. Well, I'm sympathetic to a degree but I would be cautious about building things in at the ground level of the "universe"... Of course, from what I've said above there doesn't seem to be anything for our structured propositions to "latch" onto something immanent and non-representational. It doesn't seem to be a long path from here to a kind of turtles-all-the-way-down theory where the universe is made of nothing but propositions. But I think that would be another category mistake of the kind I described at the beginning. The question is how to get around this; how to posit the existence of something beyond our socially regulated, propositionally structured beliefs without just dogmatically asserting some set of our speculative propositions as unquestionable. That's a hard question, but nevertheless I see an irreducible regulative role for something like Kant's "noumena." We need some concept of a reality by which our propositions and representations are regulated, although it's hard to specify much about because any degree of individuation seems to quickly imply further speculative presuppositions.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
keithprosser
Posts: 2,028
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5/26/2016 7:28:16 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
I am coming to the conclusion that it can't per se, unless the information is given rules to function by which requires some sort of intelligence. This is also convincing me of the fundementality of intelligence and intentionality, which seems impossible in purely physical terms.

But surely even if we ignore the 'information-based' interpretation of the universe (ie the holographic principle etc) and stick with matter being fundamental the same problem occurs because matter obeys rules - we usually call them 'physical laws' - by which they interact and those rules have to come from somewhere.

I'm coming to this rather cold so I' probably missing something obvious, but it seems to me the probem was already there even before information-based interpretations of reality became fashionable.
sadolite
Posts: 8,838
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5/28/2016 12:14:26 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
"Can the universe be represented by info?" NO. One would have to have all the information about the universe and all of it proven to be accurate and correct without debate to do so. Man doesn't even know if his own laws of physics are correct and even further man doesn't even know if they would apply outside of the galaxy his home planet is in.
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